Using Velero to backup and restore applications that use vSAN File Service RWX file shares

It has been a while since I looked at Velero, our backup and restore product for Kubernetes cluster resources. This morning I noticed that the Velero team just published version 1.4. This article uses the previous version of Velero, version is v1.3.2. The version should not make a difference to the article. In this post, I want to see Velero backing up and restoring applications that use read-write-many (RWX) volumes that are dynamically provisioned as file shares from vSAN 7.0 File Services. To demonstrate, I’ll create two simple busybox Pods in their own namespace. Using the vSphere CSI driver, Kubernetes…

vSphere CSI driver versions and capabilities

The vSphere Container Storage Interface (CSI) driver is what enables Kubernetes clusters running on vSphere to provision persistent volumes on vSphere storage. This applies to both native Kubernetes clusters, and vSphere with Kubernetes. With the release of vSphere 7.0 and vSphere with Kubernetes (formerly Project Pacific) there are now a number of different flavors of the vSphere CSI driver available. [Update] Before going any further, it is worth highlighting the differences between what we term native Kubernetes and vSphere with Kubernetes. Native Kubernetes has many flavors, such as VMware Tanzu Kubernetes Grid, VMware Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Integrated (TKGI) formerly known…

vSphere 7.0, Cloud Native Storage, CSI and offline volume extend

Another new feature added to the vSphere CSI driver in the vSphere 7.0 release is the ability to offline extend / grow a Kubernetes Persistent Volume (PV). This requires a special directive to be added to the StorageClass and, as per the title, the operation must be done offline whilst the PV is detached from any Pod. Let’s take a closer look at the steps involved. New CSI component – CSI Resizer To enable resizing operations, a new component has been added to the vSphere CSI Controller called csi-resizer. We can examine the csi-resizer and other components associated with the…

Building a TKG Cluster in vSphere with Kubernetes

Now that we have our vSphere with Kubernetes deployed, we take the next logical step in this post and deploy a Tanzu Kubernetes Grid (TKG) guest cluster. [Update] Whilst guest cluster isn’t an official name for the Tanzu Kubernetes cluster, I’ll use it in this post to differentiate it from the Supervisor cluster deployed with vSphere with Kubernetes. TKG is a full CNCF certified Kubernetes distribution. It is deployed as a set of virtual machines, in accordance with a TanzuKubernetesCluster manifest which we will look at later. The OS and K8s distribution is also specified in the manifest. There may…

Read-Write-Many Persistent Volumes with vSAN 7 File Services

A few weeks back, just after the vSphere 7.0 launch event, I wrote an article about Native File Services in vSAN 7.0. I had a few questions asking why we decided on NFS support in this initial release, and not something like SMB or some other protocol. The reason is quite straight-forward. We are positioning vSAN as a platform for both traditional virtual machine workloads and newer containerized workloads. We chose NFS to address a storage requirement in Kubernetes, namely a way to share Persistent Volumes between Pods. To date, the vSphere CSI driver only provisioned block based Persistent Volumes…

Native File Services for vSAN 7

On March 10th 2020, we saw a plethora of VMware announcements around vSphere 7.0, vSAN 7.0, VMware Cloud Foundation 4.0 and of course the Tanzu portfolio. The majority of these announcements tie in very deeply with the overall VMware company vision which is any application on any cloud on any device. Those applications have traditionally been virtualized applications. Now we are turning our attention to newer, modern applications which are predominantly container based, and predominantly run on Kubernetes. Our aim is to build a platform which can build, run, manage, connect and protect both traditional virtualized applications and modern containerized…

Deploying flannel, vSphere CPI and vSphere CSI with later versions of Kubernetes

I recently wanted to deploy a newer versions of Kubernetes to see it working with our Cloud Native Storage (CNS) feature. Having assisted with the original landing pages for CPI and CSI, I’d done this a few times in the past. However, the deployment tutorial that we used back then was based on Kubernetes version 1.14.2. I wanted to go with a more recent build of K8s, e.g. 1.16.3. By the way, if you are unclear about the purposes of the CPI and CSI, you can learn more about them on the landing page, here for CPI and here for…